Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Who gets excited about scaffold?

Who in their right mind would get excited by scaffold? Well, erm me. This is our scaffold. It took all day to put up and had the scaffolders throwing some interesting moves to get the poles over the fence.

I was worried the scaffolders would be rude oyks but no, they were polite and got on with the job, they even moved my plants off the fire escape for me. 

Random fact: You have to go back to 1913 (just 30 years after our house was built in 1883) for the last major facelift on Buckingham Palace, when it gained its familiar white stone fa├žade. The facelift came because the original soft French stone had decayed due to all the pollution.

Buckingham Palace's last major facelift was in 1913 [GETTY]

Anyway, back to me. I am really liking this orange ladder against the natural colour of the scaffold planks.  I had a little rummage around Pinterest and I am now rethinking our planned colour scheme. Maybe some orange in the bathroom would be cool?

Here's hoping the roofers are as nice as the scaffolders and they do a proper job fixing the rood as there is no way I want to go through these access negotiations again. I have a new grey hair affectionately called 'scaffold'!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

I can't believe I thought we would have all the renovation work done in a year, what on earth was I thinking?

Finally, finally, finally we are getting our roof fixed; no more leaky loft bedroom. 

Because we live in the upper part of a converted house and our downstairs neighbour is quite frail we have had no way of getting scaffold to the back of the house. Thankfully the school at the back of us have agreed to let the roofers put the scaffold poles and the boards over the fence. Six months it has taken to get the schools agreement, six long dark months. 

Our bedroom kinda looks like this, but un-decorated and with a damp wall
'Depressed' is the only word I can use to describe how our bedroom makes me feel; this was not part of the plan when we found this house. But soon, we will actually be able to both decorate (I need to make up my mind about which wallpaper to get) and fit the vintage french chandelier that has sat patiently in a box waiting to sparkle on our ceiling. I am nearly 44 years old and I actually have the equivalent of a 'bottom drawer' full of trinkets and new linen waiting for a bedroom to look pretty in. 

Kami in Charcoal from Clarke & Clark (the one of the left) is my total favorite wallpaper for the bedroom but I am not sure if it is too dark for a small room, this Mehsama in charcoal from Designers Guild is the back up. I have samples of both on the wall to see how it looks at different times of day, but the Kami is the one want and its only going on one wall. I reckon it will be lovely.

I haven't managed to find the right mirror yet, well the right mirror at price I am willing to pay is more accurate but given that once the roof is fixed, the window wall needs re-plastering and that needs to dry out, I think time is on my side! 

I can't believe I thought we would have all the renovation work done in a year, what on earth was I thinking? And I had no idea the lag time between the big jobs would be so damn depressing. I know it will all be worth it once it's done but wow, no-one, not one episode of Grand Designs or one issue of Living Etc prepares you for how awful it is coming home to decorating tools not being used to decorate. But we are getting there and slow progress is better than no progress I guess. 

Am excited about a roof? No I am excited about being able to decorate our bedroom, being able to measure up for our walk in wardrobe and most importantly getting my shoes out of storage boxes. In the mean time, I shall continue to OD on Pinterest and plan a walk in wardrobe that Carrie Bradshaw herself would be proud of.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The best salvage yard in London and driving since 1988!

salvage; salvage yards; best salvage yards in London; house refurbishment; vintage; mini cooper
You know I love everything vintage and if I could complete our house refurbishment using only salvage and found items I would be a very happy lady. Sadly that is a) not feasible b) within budget or c) gonna fly with the husband. But, and it's a big but - you can only imagine how happy I was to visit the very best salvage yard in south east London a couple of weeks ago when I managed to spend a lovely sunny day with my BBF. Sadly I have clearly been living under a rock (called Hackney) for the past year as I had no idea this salvage yard had won the Time Out Best Shop Award in 2013!

I passed my driving test in May 1988 so I have been driving past this salvage yard for the past 26 years. Not until April 2014 did I finally cross the scared doorway of the salvage heaven that is Aladdin's Cave. You want chairs - they have chairs plus all the sinks, fireplaces, doors, industrial food mixers and light fittings you could ever want by the truck load. Not so strangely for crazy place like this, among the row and rows and rows of picture frames and curious objects, they have a cosy living room complete with roaring open fire! 

I generally assume the prices in all London salvage yards will be astronomical but these lights are only £70.00 each - all wired up and ready to go so no extra costs for electrical work, and they are massive. To me that's pretty darn good value.

Sooo many lovely salvage treats but hold on a darn minute! I have been driving past that salvage yard for 26 years!! That in itself is true vintage and a flipping long time, I am not sure I feel old enough to have been driving for nearly 30 years. I think I need a little lie down to hatch a plan - a new car for my 30 driving anniversary, maybe a new mini?

A little vintage throwback... here's me in 1988.
Totally grainy but here is me, yeah I was still roller skating when I was 18, my mini, my ex and his dog.
Aladdin's Cave is at 72 Loampit Hill, Lewisham, London, SE13 7SX, they are open 9 - 6 every day. My advice set a budget before you go or you will totally overspend.